Baseball Review //
East Hartford Jets, 3
M&T People's, 4
July 27th, 2022
Trinity College, Hartford, CT

Official Box Score :::

Additional Photos :::

Going into this game I knew two things and they were the only two things that mattered to me.  First off, going into this game the East Hartford Jets were sitting in first place in the GHTBL with a 17-4 record, just a full game above the 15-4 Record-Journal Expos.  I knew that while the Jets were in first place, M&T People's were on the rise up as they seemed to be winning more than not lately.   With an 11-8 record, it felt like they were on that verge of cracking the Top 3 so this was going to be an exciting game.

I also knew that this game was at Trinity College, which is one of the nicest places to go see baseball.   Sure, there were church bells ringing behind me throughout most of the game, firetrucks going down a side street out in right field and the sprinklers from the soccer field managed to cool me off even though we broke out of the heatwave, but I will rarely pass up a chance to go to Trinity College to see a baseball game.

Right away the game got off to a hot start.  Corey Plasky hit a leadoff double for the Jets,  wild pitch sent him to third base and then a ground out to first by Jeff Criscuolo brought him home for the first run of the game.   People's would respond in kind though, as Willy Yahn would be their leadoff batter with a single, stole second, a ground out advanced him to third base and a sac fly to center scored him to tie it 1-1 after the first inning.

Though these were the first and fourth place teams, they were making every play as if to counter each other, truly both at their best like the playoffs were on the line.  (Though the playoffs were not on the line, every game does still matter leading up to next week)  Two strikeouts by Camden Murphy would shut down the Jets in the top of the second inning while two strikeouts by Jim Schult would do likewise for the Jets that same inning.

The third inning was the crucial one.  In the top half, with one out (a strikeout) and a runner on first there was a deep shot to right field.  This ball was caught and the Jets runner didn't think it would be, took a gamble or misread it and was caught trying to run back to first for the third out of the inning.

Willy Yahn would be at bat again in the third inning and as a ball was dropped in shallow center he got onto second base (Technically not a double on the error, but that's why you always run those plays out)  After stealing third and a fly out to right field, Willy Yahn once again crossed home plate making it a 2-1 ball game.

Before the third inning would end, Jordan Jeroszko would hit a somewhat routine ground out to first but the throw went past the Jets' first baseman.   This would give Jeroszko a double on error but also allow another People's run to score, putting them up 3-1 after three innings.  The fourth inning would be quiet, even though it was when those firetrucks all went down the nearby street.

In the top of the fifth inning there was a throw past third base in an attempted steal by Cole Lalli which allowed him to come all the way home.   This cut the lead to 3-2 and it felt like the Jets were about to make their comeback.  With first and third a walk loaded the bases up, but People's got out of it.  This game was constant suspense- every inning, every play, you just never felt secure in that win for either team until the final out.

The bottom of the fifth inning saw Willy Yahn at bat once again.  Though Yahn only had three at bats, if he had more he might have hit for the cycle.  This at bat was a shot to left field that cleared the fence for a homerun.  This would put People's up 4-2 and every time Willy Yahn was at bat in this game his feet crossed home plate.  Amazing.

The sixth inning would see Julian Gonzalez double and then eventually come home to make the score 4-3, which is where it would stay until the end.   During the bottom of the sixth the Jets' center fielder made an incredible catch for a three up / three down inning, but the Jets were just shut down offensively in the top of the seventh.

In a different game, Jim Schult could have pitched six innings and won with the three earned runs he allowed (four in total though)  But the pitching of Camden Murphy was just exactly where People's needed it to be.  It's one thing for a pitcher to just get up there and throw strikes, but the true test of a pitcher is how they react and what they do when they get into trouble.  Camden Murphy found himself in those situations and as a team they got out of them.

As the season comes to a close, this is an interesting turn of events for both teams.  Could M&T People's do this again in the playoffs against the Jets?  In many ways, it has to put other teams on notice.  The Jets also have players on the leader boards for stats but it just felt like everyone on this team was having those big moments during this game.

The Jets don't play again until Monday on their home turf against M&T People's for the third and final time in the regular season.   It is the rubber match as the Jets won the first meeting back in mid-June.   But before that People's will also meet the Phillies on Friday at Johnny Taylor Field in what should be a good match up as well.   With a week left in the regular season, every game still matters and this game was a great example as to why.